Erik Morales (52-8-0, 36 knockouts) lost the WBC light-welterweight title to Danny Garcia (24-0-0, 15 knockouts) earlier in the year, and he’ll have an opportunity to reclaim the belt when the two square up at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Oct. 20.
That is, if the fight still takes place.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, revealed that a sample submitted by Morales during a pre-fight drug screen administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had some irregularities, leaving the Morales-Garcia fight in jeopardy.
“On Tuesday night, USADA informed us that there were irregularities in a test from Erik Morales,” Schaefer said during a conversation with BoxingScene.com. “On Wednesday, USADA informed the respective camps and the [New York State Athletic] Commission as well. This process is going to have to play itself out.”
According to ESPN sources, the substance Morales tested positive for is clenbuterol.
Even though a positive pre-fight drug test usually leads to the offender being removed from the fight card, there’s still a good chance Morales will be allowed to fight Garcia on Oct. 20.
The USADA will now have to test a “B” sample to confirm the results of the Mexican’s positive test (as is the norm for most drug testing agencies), but the results aren’t expected to come back before his fight against Garcia. Hence, the reason the fight will probably go on.
Clenbuterol is typically used by athletes to cut weight, as it increases the body’s ability to burn fat. It’s also known to reduce the appetites of users, improve their cardiovascular efficiency (it’s actually designed for people battling with asthma), and it does have a slight anabolic effect.
While rare, it is possible to get clenbuterol in one’s system by eating contaminated food (some farmers have been known to use it to increase production), so Erik Morales already has one line of defense.
“El Terrible” has always been one of my favorite boxers, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until there is enough evidence available to prove otherwise.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.